THE PAN-IRANIAN HERO RETURNS TO MARBELLA
The Ayatollah Khomeini was blamed for many things in 1970s Iran. But never for stopping the son of an Iranian hill tribesman from becoming Wimbledon champion – even though that’s exactly what happened.
It’s an astonishing story – and the victim will be heading to Marbella in August to entertain the crowds for three days.
Those who attended the inaugural Marbella Masters last year will know Mansour Bahrami as the magical maverick who can serve while holding six tennis balls in his hand, a man who can catch tennis balls in his shorts pocket while playing an improbable winner – and somebody who can smash volleys which spin crazily back across the net.
But Bahrami is not just an entertainer, not only a lightweight juggler who makes the fans smile – he’s the greatest Wimbledon winner we never saw.
Playing partner Ilie Nastase calls him a “maestro.” John McEnroe reckons he’s a genius. While Rod Laver believes him to be “the most naturally-gifted player ever to pick up a racket.”
As the most popular competitor on the seniors’ tour he is in demand and plays 40 weeks of the year.
“I love playing. I love to feel people are having fun watching me. I cannot tell you how many matches I lose that I should win because I am joking around. Often I win but I feel the people haven’t enjoyed it so I am upset. I love to make them laugh. When the crowd laughs, I am the happiest man in the whole world.”
He will be in Marbella with is good friend Bjorn Borg, who he was recently spotted with at Wimbledon, sharing stories and jokes with Gornan Ivanisevic. Make sure you have a ticket to watch Mansour Bahrami during this year’s Marbella Masters, laugh out loud at his antics, and toast the greatest Wimbledon winner who never was.